Friday, November 18, 2016

Internal Improvements

In violent times
You shouldn't have to sell your soul
In black and white
They really, really ought to know
--Tears For Fears

A great hypocrisy of American politics involves mainline Republicans who decry socialist policies of Democrats while applauding large infrastructure spending projects funded by the federal government. Currently GOP applause is directed toward Donald Trump's proposal to spend $1 trillion to build/rebuild roads, bridges, etc.

Republican love of infrastructure projects has a long history. A central plank of the Whig Party's American System in the early 1800s was federally funded 'internal improvements'--roads, bridges, canals, dams, et al.--primarily for benefit of northern industry. When the Whigs morphed into the Republican Party in the 1850s, it was Abraham Lincoln who helped institutionalize the internal improvement notion into the GOP playbook.

Funding infrastructure projects by forcibly taking property from some for the benefit of others, even if those others are euphemized as 'the greater good,' is consummate socialism.

No comments: